New Report Underscores Risks of Underground Gas Storage Facilities

State Senator Henry Stern calls for a coordinated effort to close regulatory loopholes and improve oversight

January 18, 2018

SACRAMENTO – In response the Aliso Canyon blowout in 2015, the largest natural gas disaster in US history, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) released a report​ today analyzing the safety, viability and operational risks of the Southern California Gas Company’s controversial storage facilities and the 13 other major gas storage fields located throughout California.

CCST’s panel of experts found that gas companies do not disclose to the public the chemicals they are pumping underground, along with the gas they are storing, and that state regulators lack an accurate picture of the risks posed by wildfires, earthquakes, landslides and corporate mismanagement from these 14 former oil fields now being used to store gas.

State Senator Henry Stern (Canoga Park-D), the legislator representing the communities in the north San Fernando Valley impacted by the 2015 blowout, responded to report, calling for new regulations and possible legislative action.​

“We still don’t know why Aliso Canyon blew, and unfortunately this report does not answer those questions.  But it does show that the public and state regulators are in the dark about the risks of wildfires, earthquakes, and corporate malfeasance at gas storage facilities throughout California.  This is not just a San Fernando Valley problem--1.85 million Californians live near giant gas fields and they deserve to know what chemicals are being pumped underground, and if the companies operating these gas fields are doing so safely. The public cannot just rely on self-policing. Action must be taken to ensure the corporations that own, operate and profit from these fields also bear the risk of their failure.  I look forward to working with the Administration to expand upon their efforts to close loopholes and understand the risks of our reliance on fossil fuel."​

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 Henry Stern is Chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, and the first millennial elected to the California State Senate. He represents nearly 1 million residents of the 27th Senate District, which includes Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, part of Santa Clarita and the West San Fernando Valley. http://sd27.senate.ca.gov

Contact: Morgan.Culbertson@sen.ca.gov      ​Phone: (805) 822-9694